Who hasn’t dreamed of working in Makati City at some point in their professional career? The country’s premier city certainly ticks all the right boxes when it comes to an ideal workplace.
Accessible by both public and private transportation to and from points in Metro Manila, Makati is home to a host of well-established banks, BPOs, multinational corporations, five-star hotels, world-class shopping malls, and international embassies. Even the esteemed center of commerce, Ayala Avenue, is located at the heart of Makati’s CBD, as are many of the country’s most iconic edifices.
But the city is also constantly evolving, and the addition of spanking-new mixed-used developments as well as ultramodern skyscrapers to the Makati skyline means the city is very much alive and rife for business. Such a vibrant atmosphere is matched by a dynamic nightlife scene that indulges your every mood and fancy. Be it coffee and conversation with friends or cocktails and dancing with colleagues and clients, It All Happens in Makati for anyone who likes to play hard as much as they work hard.
For late night talking or working. In Legazpi Village, you can find Panco Café that blends the tastes of Melbourne and Manila in a chill café setting. Highly recommended are Kalma (that’s kalamansi and matcha) and a Dirty Mocha made with Davao tablea. There’s also Bad Café that serves high-quality coffee made from specialty grade coffee beans from local and Asian roasters. Combine your choice of hot or cold drinks with your preferred sweet or savory treat. Start with a slow roaster pork belly adlai bowl or mushroom tartine, and end with a sumptuous calamansi pie. Malongo Atelier Barista, the first Asian café of the popular French roaster that specializes in organic and free trade coffees and bio-coffees, is another must-visit spot in the village.
If you’re in Salcedo Village, Odd Café has a roster of irresistible hot and cold drinks enjoyed in Instagram-worthy interiors. Try French Kiss, the drinkable version of French toast, or Black Forest, the liquid counterpart to the popular dessert. A largely plant-based menu may just inspire you to finally go vegan.
Café 1911 in Bangkal serves classic coffee and short-order selections (think pastries and pasta dishes) in a Korean coffee shop-inspired ambiance. For a more unique coffee experience, Papakape in Palanan allures you with its ginger-infused coffee in drinks like Kape Gingerccino, Iced Cocolatte, and Choco Mochaluya. That they are prepared in a small glass house bar-cum-counter and served in a cozy outdoor spread is another reason to return.
For chill nights with good booze. Enjoy refreshing cocktails named after radio communication codes (“10-4” means “okay,” get it?) at Bar 10-4 in Legazpi Village. Match them with Japanese bar chow or Pinoy food from the neighboring Abuela restaurant. 78-45-33 in Salcedo Village specializes in handcrafted cocktails (Negronis, martinis, Cosmopolitans, and the like) and vinyl records (its name refers to the three speeds of vinyl records). Talk about a perfect combination when you just want to unwind after a long day at work. Craving for elevated Southeast Asian fare complete with DJ sets and incredible cocktails? Head over to Golden Gibbon (still in Salcedo), a fine casual resto with a focus on cocktails and food influenced by cultural heritages across the Southeast Asia region.
You can also find more chill bars in Poblacion. There’s OTO that made it to the list of Asia’s Best Bars of 2019 for good reason: It offers fabulous drinks that fall under the categories of classics, signatures, or classics with a twist, as well as a wicked all-vinyl playlist. You can also check out The Odd Seoul that captures the “Gangnam side of Korea” in fun drinks like Yogurt Lady (an intriguing mix of soju, vodka, Yakult, aloe vera juice, and melon-flavored ice pop) and Kimchi Sour (soju, lemon juice, egg white, almonds, and yes, kimchi).
If live music is a must. Seltsam, a rooftop bar in Legazpi Village, boasts an infectious, all-night playlist (from techno to funk and everything in between). Load up on cocktails and bar chow to keep your energy up! Social House in Circuit Makati alternates live band performances with killer DJ playlists. Drinks range from beer and cocktails to wine, and when you want to splurge—champagne. Boogie Manila in Poblacion is best known for housing the best hiphop scene in Manila. Groove to incredible sounds and a menu of bar food and cocktails. The ultimate must-have: Barik Supremo Lambanog.
If you’re down for an adventure. Add more thrill to your Makati nights at The Studio Dance Club in Legazpi Village, which has a stable of seasoned dance instructors to lead you to R&B Nights, Disco Friday, Saturday Boogie Nights, and K-Pop Nights. Don’t forget to drink and dine between sets. Left Behind at Ayala Malls Circuit disrupts your predictable after-office routine with three escape rooms you can book with friends. Sign up for 45 minutes of figuring your way out of a woman’s restroom (Flushed), the basement of a house located in a forest (The Basement), or a mine in a mountain (The Mines).
Let the night surprise you by taking a visit to Tiu Theater along Chino Roces Avenue. It has served as the stage of numerous theater productions, film screenings, concerts, and other live performances since 2014. Hip-hop and rap lovers know the place for hosting the latest edition of Flip Top Battle League. The Spirits Library in Poblacion isn’t just a “purveyor of rare bottles, books, and bar paraphernalia,” it also stages live burlesque shows courtesy of Burlesque PH, the country’s premier brand for burlesque performances and education.